Manga Review: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Part 1—Phantom Blood, Vol. 3 by Hirohiko Araki

May Contain Spoilers

This series. I just don’t know. It’s a little gorier than the other Shonen Jump manga that I’m reading, and the character designs are baffling. How do these guys fit through most doors, which are designed to accommodate normally proportioned mortals?

This volume wraps up the first story arc. JoJo has cornered Dio, disrupting his evil plans of turning the village of Wind Knights Lot into a zombie wasteland. JoJo knows that if he and his allies don’t stop Dio here and now, the world will suffer horribly. So he throws everything on the line, willing himself to defeat his childhood rival once and for all.

Most of the this expanded volume is comprised of fighting. I have discovered a new appreciation for the page compositions for the fight scenes. They are exciting, varied, and jampacked with excitement. I still think the backgrounds are too cluttered, and the clutter takes away from the action sequences. My biggest disappointment is with the character designs, which have not aged well. Big, bulky, and so out of proportion, it’s like watching a bunch of body builders on mega steroids going to war. I just found it very distracting. On the plus side, I did love the characters’ clothing. Yes, their wardrobes brought on waves of admiration, and I realized that both Dio and JoJo have the best tailors in Great Britain.

The ending of this story arc is dark and not uplifting. I am pretty sure I hated it, but I am still dazed by Dio’s talking head in a jar, and can’t fully focus on my feelings. I have requested the next two books in the JoJo series, because I am having trouble just turning away from this one. I don’t find it particularly appealing, but to broaden my reading background, I should probably continue with one of the classic shonen series. The next story arc takes place with a different hero and decades in the future, so I am curious to see how Araki handles the story with JoJo’s descendants.

Grade: 3 stars

Review copy borrowed from my local library

About the book:

The conclusion of the Phantom Blood Arc! Jonathan Joestar and his mentor Zeppelli continue their pursuit of the villainous vampire, Dio! But to get to him, they must first face down his murderous henchmen! In battle after bloody battle, JoJo and Zeppelli are pushed to their limits and beyond!